Reviews by aronater
Platforming Done Rightaronater | Dec. 14, 2013 | Review of Super Meat Boy
First of all, just in case you doubted everything you may have read about this game, let's set the record straight. This game is extremely challenging. So challenging, that at times you may think that there is no possible way to complete the level you're playing.
For a long time I avoided buying this game, because excessive difficulty in video games often frustrates me to the point of just giving up. However, I eventually bought it, and I'm quite happy I did. Because no matter how challenging the game gets, it somehow manages to avoid leaving the player frustrated. Instead of quitting, I found myself playing levels over and over determined to reach the next level.
To give a brief overview, you play as a piece of meat determined to rescue his girlfriend. Simple enough. The levels are extremely short, and if mastered, most can be finished in under 1 minute. They involve jumping from one platform to another and getting past all of the different dangers thrown at you. You will die many times, and it will take a lot of trial-and-error to figure out how to proceed. However once you reach the end of each level to be reunited with your "girlfriend" (if only for a brief moment), you will feel an intense feeling of satisfaction. That feeling will keep you going from level to level.
The game is presented quite nicely with a simple yet pleasant art style, some cool effects, and a lot of small touches which really improve the game. The audio is also quite impressive, with great sound effects and a really intense soundtrack. The controls (at least with a gamepad), are tight and feel responsive without being overly sensitive like many other platformers.
If you're still on the fence about this game, get it. You will most probably enjoy it immensely, and you will get to see for yourself why Super Meat Boy is considered by many to be one of the best indie platformers ever released.
Living Medievalaronater | Dec. 17, 2012 | Review of Mount & Blade: Warband DNS
Mount and Blade: Warband truly is a gem of a game. The premise is simple enough; fight your way to the top of the land. The gameplay is anything but simple, however. Blending many different genres together, Warband manages to shine despite its disappointing graphics, because of one area; the combat. As tiring as it may be to run various fetch quests, and to constantly head to the nearest town or village to sell your inventory, there's nothing that gives such an adrenaline rush like thundering into battle on horseback at the head of a small army. A successful sword slash into an enemy while speeding past him, or a well placed arrow, is indescribably satisfying. Putting together your army was frustrating and tedious at times, but battle is when you reap the fruits of your labor.
So if you need the latest graphics and a linear, tightly paced story, then move on. But if you can overlook some flaws, and see the amazing combat that Warband has to offer, then do yourself a favor and try this game out. You will likely find the hours flying by, as you advance further and further up the ladder of medieval society.
A great puzzle experiencearonater | Dec. 16, 2012 | Review of World of Goo
Like many others, when I first played World of Goo, I was completely new to the world of Indie puzzlers. However the simple but satisfying mechanics and the enjoyment of stringing together bridges and towers made of goo balls soon had me hooked. (Not gonna lie; the sign painter had something to do with it!) This is a great game to relax with at the end of the day, or just to kill some time with. The basics are simple; build whatever is required in that particular level using as few goo balls as possible. The challenge lies in the obstacles thrown at you, things like sharp spikes that break your carefully built structure. Another nice thing about this game is its interesting sense of humor, mostly given over through signs written by "The Sign Painter". If you're looking for a blockbuster title to immerse yourself in for hours at a time, then you've come to the wrong place. But if you're looking for an interesting game that will kill a few hours here and there in a fun and satisfying way then by all means, get this game. It's low price tag makes it a low risk purchase that you will most probably enjoy.
Freedom!!!aronater | Dec. 16, 2012 | Review of Just Cause 2
After a mediocre beginning to the Just Cause series, it finally shows us what it can do. Although Just Cause 2 does start a bit slow, give it an hour or two, and you'll be having the time of your life. Whether you prefer attaching enemies to the back of moving vehicles, blowing up oil rigs in a helicopter gunship, or you just enjoy clubbing... a mile up in the sky; its all there for you. You've got a wide open map featuring all sorts of environments, and its all there for you to explore. You can complete missions thereby unlocking safehouses and increasing your control of the region, or you can just go on a rampage using the many, many vehicles the game gives you. Although there are some flaws, the slightly awkward gunplay for instance, the huge variety of things to do is what will keep you coming back to Panau. I would list some of the things there are to do... but there are so many that I don't know where to start! So in short, if you're on the fence about this game - get it. You won't regret it.
Hello Monkey! Time to have some fun!aronater | Dec. 10, 2012 | Review of The Darkness II dns
The Darkness II is one of those games where once you've started you won't want to stop, and once you've finished you'll want to play again and again. Although the story may not make sense at times (at least for those who haven't played the original), the amazing gameplay makes up for that, and then some. The game is technically an FPS, but if you play it like a standard shooter you'll really be missing out. The two demon arms given to you are you're power, go into a lighted area, and although your weapons work you'll still be powerless without your demon arms. It's with those that you demolish your enemies whether by slicing them apart and eating their hearts, or by attaching them to the wall with a well thrown pole. The game rewards you for your creativity in killing your enemies, and as you gain "essence" you unlock new ways of killing. Although the setting is dark and sometimes slightly creepy, the Darkness II doesnt have that traditional horror game scary feeling. This is partly due to your insanely obnoxious companion, the Darkling. As you kill your enemies he's going through his wild shenanigans, injecting a strong humor into the game. It's difficult to imagine how the game would play without him as your companion. The only complaint usually given is about the game's shortness. While that may be true, it is only a testimony to the writers skill in packing together tight gameplay inside of a cool story, without adding in unnecessary segments. To sum it up, if you like great action and funny humor set in an interesting setting, and don't mind a bit of blood and gore, well there is no reason to miss out on this great game.
Been There, Done Thataronater | Dec. 10, 2012 | Review of Homefront
Homefront tries very hard. It really does. It tries to portray a fight for freedom from the brutal occupiers, and it does do a pretty good job showing us a bleak version of a future where violent resistance is the only option. Unfortunately, with a market flooded by first and third person shooters, it takes a lot more than that to break into that top tier occupied by blockbuster titles like the Call of Duty series. Thankfully many shooters are adapting by adding something new, something exciting, that hasn't been done before. Bulletstorm is a great example. Homefront however, fails in this regard. While the story may be interesting it fails to overcome the constant feeling of "been there, done that". The gameplay just isn't exciting enough to justify playing this over the various other shooters competing with it. That's doesn't mean that it's a bad game. Not at all. In fact a few years ago it could possibly have topped the charts. However, nowadays it takes a lot more to stand out and Homefront just fails to deliver.The slightly dated graphics certainly don't help its cause. In short, if you're new to the FPS genre or just a shooter junkie, it's worth a try. However, for everyone else, you really won't miss much by skipping this game.
An Amazing Time-Killeraronater | Dec. 9, 2012 | Review of SkyDrift
Skydrift is one of those games that no matter how frustrated you get, you keep coming back to it just because its so enjoyable. Sure, the controls take getting used to, but once you overcome that, you feel like you rule the skies as you shoot down your opponents with missiles, or successfully pull a tight turn through a small opening. The main challenge lies in some serious multitasking, as you simultaneously navigate your plane, pick up power-ups, and try to destroy your competition. As you advance and unlock more planes and more tracks, the game just keeps getting better and better. In short if you have any interest at all in the racing genre (and who doesn't, really?) this is one game you can't afford to miss.
An Ambitious Failurearonater | Dec. 9, 2012 | Review of Just Cause [Playfire]
Just Cause sticks you on a tropical island and pretty much let's you do whatever you like. Sounds great in theory, but a few hours in everything begins to feel the same, and you begin to notice what the game is missing more than what it actually has to offer. In addition, the dated graphics and the many bugs really make it hard to get lost on this island. Kind of difficult to immerse yourself in the game, when every time you drive a pickup the grass sticks out through the back of the truck. It's not completely bad, for instance the physics aren't bad, and doing stunts while driving can be a lot of fun. However when all is said and done, you're much better off skipping this game, and playing the incredible sequel, Just Cause 2
Overpriced, Yet Possibly Helpfularonater | Dec. 8, 2012 | Review of SkyDrift: Extreme Fighters Premium DLC
Although there's no reason these 3 planes should cost $1.50, it still might be worth picking up. If you're having difficulty early in the game, with only the low level planes unlocked, I found these 3 planes (especially the Vanguard) to be quite helpful. With that said its still a bit overpriced, so you may want to avoid it unless the first planes just aren't doing it for you.